Wanna Lose Weight? Shop a Different Grocery Store

Of course you know that the foods you buy affect your weight and health. But did it ever occur to you that the specific grocery store you shop at can help you lose weight or keep you from losing it? Allow me to explain.

Old Habits Die Hard

Human beings are creatures of habit. You probably go to the same one or two grocery stores week after week, and maybe even the same aisles in those stores. If you happen to be overweight, that can work against you in several ways.

First, if you’re going to lose weight, you have to change what and when you eat. It requires you to incorporate different foods and drinks into your diet but that’s very hard to do if you shop the same stores and the same aisles. If you ventured out to a different store, especially a different type of grocery store, you’d be forced to take a fresh look at every aisle and think a little more about most of what you buy.

Furthermore, you probably shop at a store geared toward the typical American shopper with typical American eating habits- the habits that get and keep you overweight. The problem is that half of Americans are overweight or obese, so those products and stores are much less likely to have more of the types of items you need to eat better. They’re also less likely to have product placement strategies that encourage you to eat for health.

How Shopping Trader Joe’s Keeps Me On My Toes

For an example to illustrate my point, I’ll use Trader Joe’s grocery store which happens to be one of my favorite places to shop. They only stock items of the highest quality. No genetically modified organisms (GMOs), trans fat, pink slime, hormone-stuffed products at this store. Nope. Just the good stuff made of the best ingredients.

At Trader Joe’s You Can Try Before You Buy!

Every single time I go to Trader Joe’s I discover a new healthy product I like. What’s better is that they’ll let you try something before you buy it! What’s better than that? The last time I went to Trader Joe’s I was thinking of trying their hummus. I’ve had hummus many, many times but I don’t like everyone’s flavors. As I’m eyeballing the hummus, an employee walks over and asks me if I need any help. I explain what I’m looking for and ask him which hummus he likes. Eventually he said well you could just try it and see if you like it.”

So I stopped over at the sampling counter (yes, they have a permanent one in the store) and enjoyed hummus and crackers. I also got to sample a new ready-to-eat microwave meal I decided to buy and loved. This wasn’t your average TV dinner, either. It was refrigerated and expired much faster than any other microwave meal would. Also, it tasted remarkably similar to what I’d make at home or buy at a restaurant.

If I had gone to a regular grocery store I probably would just buy what I always buy. If I wanted to try a new healthy product, I’d have to study the label to make sure it was legitimately good for me, buy it and hope it tasted good. If you have dietary changes to make, it’s not good to just go where you always go and buy what you always buy. You have to explore and try new things, but what will prompt you to do that if you go to your usual place that’s full of tempting things you want to buy but shouldn’t?

Food for Thought. Not a Mandate

By no means am I saying that you can’t eat well if you shop the regular big chain grocery super stores. I’m just saying you could do yourself a favor by mixing it up a bit from time to time when you do your grocery shopping. If you don’t want to shop a new store, perhaps you could tag along for a shopping trip with a friend with great eating habits and a good track record for managing their weight.